Coronavirus affects fashion show in Seoul

coronavirus hits Seoul

As a number of infected in Korea reaches 3,000, Korea decides to cancel the Seoul Fashion Show.

Show has to wait …

Organisers planned to make a big celebration for the 20th anniversary of Seoul Fashion Week. Brands prepared their collections for demanding fashionistas. Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), a snake-shaped architectural wonder, was decorated. Front row invitations – sent out. Buyers – scheduled to discover a vast pool of young Korean designers. And journalists – booked to fly in for extensive coverage. However, a sudden and outrageous outburst of coronavirus in Korea has ruined many expectations and put a break on many careers.

According to Korean Vogue , after 30% of participating brands withdraw participation in mid-February, the organisers decided to cancel all the events. Above all, the trade show was canceled too. Naturally, the trade show was an opportunity for next generation designers to show their talents  to foreign buyers. But now they have to wait.

As the virus in China was spreading, noone could forecast an outbreak in Korea. Despite geographic proximity, Korea remained unaffected for sometime. But suddenly things turned very bad. Today, the country is still shocked by the fact that a small church in Daegu unchained a spiralling spread of the virus.  So, the organisers of the Seoul Fashion Week decided that it would be more reasonable to stop the show even of it was about to start. 


The Seoul Fashion Week started 20 years ago. However, it remained out of attention of international fashion circles until recently. It was Karl Lagerfeld, who made everyone to watch Seoul. Because in 2015 he  famously brought Chanel  Cruise collection to the city, reputation of Seoul grew. The city has become the Asia’s fashion capital. In later years Chanel repeated its Cruise and #CHANELMetiersdArt shows in the city. And it even created some sort of Korean touch for its Seoul shows with bright prints and modern cuts.

Chanel show in Seoul
Chanel, Seoul

The Seoul Fashion Show became an event that closed a range of couture shows. Started in New York, London and culminating in Milan and Paris, fashion shows were rolling to Seoul. In terms of trend setting, new designer ideas and customer reach across Asia it was one of the most influential shows. Also, associated with modernity and highly successful K-pop music, Seoul was a source of continuous inspiration for many in the industry. 

What to expect?

As world is still looking for vaccine, magnitude of impact of the virus on Seoul remains obscure. In the short-term, there will be a fall out of Chinese tourists’ spending who contributed a lot to the local luxury industry. However, the medium and longer-term effect of the virus will depend on how well Seoul will be able to re-adjust. Hopefully, it will show its resilience and inner strength that paved Korea’s path to developed economy.

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